By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia Immigration Department has confirmed that there is no boat departures from Kartong.
Muhammad Bah, the deputy public relations officer of the Gambia Immigration Department, said contrary to information circulating on social media that a boat left Gambia on 2nd December, no boat departed Kartong.
“As reported on the newspapers, zero departures launched by GID last month have successfully stopped all possible departures as the institution registered 28 interceptions in 2023”.
He added that the intelligence gathered after the rumors is that the boat departed from Abene next to Kartong on the other side of the border. “Our officers are on routine 24/7 patrol since 9th November considering the risk attached to this journey and the already loss of lives at sea. We all know the current weather is bad and smugglers still making profit while our youths perish. The information is almost 11 days since the boat departed which is beyond the usual days boats arrive when they leave the Gambia”.
He said the good side is they are working with Senegalese authorities sharing intelligence.
“We also monitor cross-border movements of these smugglers transporting migrants from one country to another where they believe could be a soft spot to launch their operation or carry out their activities. Now we know they have been tightening the knot on coastal belt so they will transport people to areas outside our jurisdiction.”
PRO Bah said they have also received information that some boats will arrive in Europe claiming to depart from Gambia just because they have Gambian migrants while their departure point is not within the Gambian territory particularly departures launched close to borders from the southern part of Senegal.